Bon Voyage! Knicks Complete Six-Player Dallas Trade for Felton and Chandler

 NewKnicks

Yesterday, the Knicks completed their first big trade under the Phil Jackson regime, shipping out starters Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler for point guards Jose Calderon and Shane Larkin, guard Wayne Ellington, center Samuel Dalembert, and the 34th and 51st picks on tonight’s NBA draft.

Chandler missed over 30 games last year with injuries and has struggled in recent years to meet the level of play that made him the Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. He has one year remaining on a four-year, $60 million dollar contract.

Felton had one of his worst seasons last year, shooting 39% from the field and posting a career-low in points (9.7). Felton was plagued by off the court problems as well — he was arrested on felony gun charges and last week plead guilty, receiving a $5000 fine and 500 hours of community service.

“The journey to build this team for the upcoming season and beyond continues,” said Phil Jackson in a statement about the trade. “We have added players with this move that will fit right in to our system while maintaining future flexibility. We would like to thank Raymond and Tyson for their time and hard work with the organization over the past few years.”

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Sorry Tyson Chandler — any trade that gets Felton off this team gets the stamp of approval from me. While I’m not particularly crazy about Jose Calderon on the defensive end, he can hit open threes, which makes him ideal for the triangle offense Fisher and Jackson are looking to implement. Shane Larkin also has a lot of potential. I can see him becoming a fan favorite and having a string of breakout games next season. I’d be surprised if Dalembert makes it onto the roster. Ellington I’m not well-versed on, but at least he’s not an injury-prone old vet like most of our signings in recent years.

As for Chandler, I loved him when he was healthy and giving full effort. But when is the last time we’ve actually seen that from him? He seemed to always be injured or sick during the playoffs, and his rim protection has taken a severe nose-dive. Not to mention, the man still struggles to finish point-blank shots at the rim.

Chandler also did a lot of finger-pointing last season, taking jabs at Mike Woodson and subtle ones at Carmelo Anthony. His body language and effort told me Chandler had mentally checked out so a change of scenery, especially back to where he had his greatest success, should be a huge motivator and do him good.

All in all, this is a very good trade for the team. And can you believe we actually got picks back?! In Phil we trust…

[Video] Nowitzki Shocks Knicks With Buzzer-Beater

It’s a damn shame. – MIKE WOODSON

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You have heard this story before. Knicks start slow only to go on a strong run late in the first or second quarter to make it a game by halftime. They play well on offense, but keep shooting themselves in the foot on defense in the second half, making the game a life and death struggle going into the fourth quarter. The team then fails to get any stops over the waning minutes and simply hope for Carmelo Anthony to bail them out, leading to another heart-breaking loss.

Last night was a Knicks rerun, in Dirk Nowitzki getting a lucky bounce on a buzzer-beating jumper to hand the Knicks their ninth loss in the last 10 games. This is the third game in a row the Knicks have collapsed down the stretch. If you’re looking for a silver lining, it can be that at least the game was tight for the most of the second half, as opposed to the 14-point and 17-point leads New York blew in the previous two games against Orlando and Atlanta.

There was another wasted Melo effort of 44 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and a block. If you told me before the season started that Melo would be posting these type of the numbers and we’d by this far below .500 and effectively out of the playoffs, I’d have laughed. And yet, here we are. Until we get guards who know who to defend the perimeter, we may not win a game for the rest of the season. When the ghost of Vince Carter is lighting you up for SEVEN three-pointer off the bench, there is literally no hope.

[Video] Shump the Closer — Knicks 92, Mavs 80

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It’s not the 3-0 Texas sweep it should have been, but we’ll take it. The Knicks came out with the same fire they showed earlier this week against the Rockets, but made better decisions down the stretch to pull out a 92-80 victory over the Mavericks, making it a 2-1 trip to the Lone Star state with an additional win over San Antonio.

MELO STARTS IT, SHUMP ENDS IT: Carmelo Anthony came out on fire in the first quarter, scoring 15 of his 19 points. The Mavs looked lethargic and the Knicks took full advantage on offense and defense, outscoring Dallas 29-17 and holding their shooting under 40%.

In the final minutes of the fourth with the Mavs down just six points, Iman Shumpert scored seven points in the remaining two minutes to ice the game, including a fearless layup drive around Dirk Nowitzki. His stat sheet will only show 9 points, but they were the most impactful of the game (along with his three steals, one coming late in the third to stifle a Mavs run). Defense wins games, and with Shumpert refocused in that area, there is absolutely no reason to not have him on the court during crunch time.

K-MART GETS NY THROUGH SCORING DROUGHT: Down 52-35 at halftime, the Mavs made a strong push in the third while the Knicks went ice-cold on offense. Vince Carter, Jose Calderon, and Monta Ellis all nailed treys to help get the lead in single digits. However, Kenyon Martin had one of his better games of the season, scoring the majority of his 14 points in the third quarter to allow the Knicks to maintain a 10-point lead (67-57) going into the fourth.

STOP THE JR SMITH LOVE AFFAIR, WOODY: I’m on record as giving JR until the All-Star break to get it together. Nonetheless, that doens’t mean play him when it’s a detriment to the team. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 10 points, including a crucial three-point play in the third. He provided good minutes early in the fourth before getting pulled for JR, who immediately had issues not turning the ball over and leaving Mavs guards open on the perimeter. If it wasn’t for Shumpert, the Mavs might have stolen this one.

JR did at least provide one hilarious moment during the game.

NOW DO IT AT HOME: The Knicks have been a decent road team and horrible at home. For the rest of the month, 10 of the 13 games NY plays will be at home. This will likely be the period that makes or breaks our playoff hopes considering the majority of the opponents have sub-.500 records.

Questionable Calls and Bad Perimeter D: Mavs 3pt Shooting Lifts Them Over Knicks 114-111

Hopefully the Knicks had a nice Thanksgiving to erase the sour taste of a bitter 114-111 defeat to the Mavericks in Dallas on Wednesday night.

Even without Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs are still dangerous due to OJ Mayo, who’s been one of the deadliest shooters in the NBA thus far, leading the league in three-point shooting. What was not foreseen is giving up 25 points off the bench to the ghost of Vince Carter and getting slack on our defense to the tune of giving  up 30 in the 4th quarter and allowing the Mavs to hit 4-6 from downtown (they shot 13-29 from three for the game).

Like the game against the Hornets, we jumped out to a 10 point lead by the second quarter only to let the Mavs go crazy behind the arc (Carter, Troy Murphy, Shawn Marion and OJ Mayo). Still, NY closed the quarter strong behind some good steals from Jason Kidd and aggressive inside play from Tyson Chandler to have a 54-49 lead at halftime.

The second half of the game was tough to watch. After an even battle for much of the third, JR Smith started to become a liability on defense; OJ Mayo was burning him for layups and 3s. Vince Carter had a good time at JR’s expense too, knocking down a few 3s. Even Shawn Marion and Jae Crowder got in on the 3-point barrage, and before you knew it the quarter had ended with the Mavs outscoring the Knicks 35-26.

The Knicks fell behind by as much as 12 points in the fourth. Carmelo Anthony had a very tough night and not just from the hard defense Marion put on him. Melo got hit with several tough offensive calls. And even though he had a season-high 7 turnovers, a few of them could have been called loose ball fouls (Melo was hit hard in the face on one). Even so, Melo managed to chip in 23 points, and Tyson Chandler had 21, fueled by a key 3-point play that helped the Knicks  get within four (101-105) late in the fourth. We never folded, but we gave up too many 3s, committed too many shooting fouls and let the corpse of Vince Carter drop way too points off the bench to pull this one out.

Knicks fans can take a little solace in the fact that despite our bad play perimeter defense, we were within just a point (111-112) with the ball in Melo’s hands for the potential game-winning jumper that missed.

We can take out any remaining frustration tonight on our old friend Jeremy Lin in Houston. You know damn well Raymond Felton will be up for that game.